Austria - General Information
National Railway System
Österreichische Bundesbahnen (ÖBB).
German, which differs in certain respects from the version spoken in Germany.
UIC code: numeric 81; alpha A.
Journey Planner: www.oebb.at/pv/en/Servicebox/Train_schedule/index.jsp Downloadable Timetable: http://www.oebb.at/pv/de/Servicebox/Fahrplanabfrage/Fahrplaene_-_Kursbuch_aktuell/index.jsp Printed Timetable: Fahrpläne Österreich. Includes train services operated by ÖBB and private railways. Cross-border services operated by SZ to Bleiburg appear only in the separate international volume, though all other international lines are shown at least to the first station outside Austria. Some shipping and a few bus services are included. Symbols and abbreviations are explained in English and French, but the timetable is otherwise entirely in German. A fold-out route diagram is included in the timetable. This shows principal stations and distinguishes private and narrow-gauge lines. The main Alpine rail tunnels are also marked. Engineering Information: http://www.oebb.at/pv/de/Servicebox/OeBB-Streckeninformation/Oesterreichkarte/index.jsp provides a pictorial map giving the location and type of engineering work and other incidents for ÖBB also significant events on neighbouring railway administrations.
Gauge: Mostly standard gauge, but the following ÖBB lines are narrow gauge:
760mm gauge: 115 St Polten – Mariazell and Ruprechtshofen; 132 Waidhofen a d Ybbs – Gstadt; Gmünd NÖ – Groß Gerungs and Gmünd NÖ – Litschau and Heidenreichstein (see ÖBB Erlebnisbahn); Metre gauge (and rack operated): 523 Puchberg am Schneeberg – Hochschneeberg (see below regarding ownership). Various private lines are narrow gauge, as noted below.
Electrification: 15 kV 16.7 Hz. The St Polten – Mariazell line is electrified at 6.6 kV 25 Hz. Electrification systems used by private lines are noted below. The following cross-border routes with Hungary are electrified at the Hungarian standard 25 kV 50 Hz:
between Ebenfurth and Deutschkreutz via Sopron (Ebenfurth station area can be switched between the two voltages); between Neusiedl am See (exclusive) and Fertöszentmiklós (the electrification boundary is a few hundred metres south of Neusiedl station).
Rule of the road: Many lines are single track and most double track railways are signalled for reversible working. It is normal practice around Wien and in the east of the country for trains to run on the left, though right hand running is observed on the main line from Wien Westbf. Left hand running extends from Wien to Graz, but the main line to Klagenfurt changes to right hand running at Bruck an der Mur. Right hand running is observed in the west of Austria.
Table numbers in the Fahrpläne Österreich are shown in brackets
Graz-Köflacher Eisenbahn: Graz Hbf – Köflach and Wies-Eibiswald (550) www.gkb.at Montafonerbahn AG: Bludenz – Schruns (420). Electrified 15 kV 16.7 Hz www.montafonerbahn.at Raab-Oedenburg-Ebenfurter Eisenbahn AG: Ebenfurth – Sopron (512), Neusiedl am See – Fertószentmiklós (731). An international railway in joint Austrian and Hungarian ownership, better-known by its Hungarian name, Györ-Sopron Ebenfurti Vasút (GySEV). Raab and Oedenburg are the German names for Györ and Sopron respectively. The line from Ebenfurth to Sopron is electrified at 25 kV 50 Hz and used by dual-frequency ÖBB trains between Sopron and Wien Südbf. GySEV also owns the line between Sopron and Györ, which is entirely in Hungary and electrified at 25 kV 50 Hz. www.raaberbahn.at Salzburg Stadtwerke AG Verkehrsbetriebe Lokalbahn: Salzburg Lokalbahn – Trimmelkam and Lamprechtshausen (210). Electrified 1000 V dc. Bürmoos – Trimmelkam was acquired from Stern und Hafferl by Salzburg Stadtwerke on 31 July 1993 and modernised, with construction of a new underground terminus outside Salzburg Hbf. www.slb.at Steiermärkische Landesbahnen www.stlb.at: Gleisdorf – Weiz Stadt (531), Feldbach – Bad Gleichenberg (532) (electrified 1000 V dc), Peggau-Deutschfelstritz – Ubelbach (540) (electrified 15 kV 16.7 Hz), Unzmarkt – Tamsweg (630) (760 mm gauge), Mixnitz – St Erhard (760 mm gauge, electrified 800 V dc, freight only but it is possible to charter passenger trains or passenger coaches on freight trains), Weiz – Anger (760 mm gauge, freight and limited steam tourist trains). Stern und Hafferl: Linz Hbf – Peuerbach and Neumarkt-Kalham (143) (electrified 800 V dc, operated by dual-system EMUs into Linz Hbf on 15 kV 16.7 Hz), Lambach – Vorchdorf-Eggenberg (160), Vorchdorf-Eggenberg – Gmunden Seebf (161) (metre gauge, electrified 800 V dc), Vöcklamarkt Lokalbahn – Attersee (180) (metre gauge, electrified 800 V dc), Vorchdorf-Eggenberg – Brauerei Eggenberg (freight only). www.stern-verkehr.at Stubaitalbahn AG: Innsbruck – Fulpmes (320). Metre gauge, electrified 900 V dc. Operated by tram-style vehicles which work through onto the Innsbruck tram system at 750 V dc. www.ivb.at Südburgenländische Regionalbahn: Oberwart – Oberschutzen (out of use); Oberwart – Großpetersdorf – Rechnitz (freight, plus July and August Sunday excursions from Grosspetersdorf "towards Märchenwald") www.maerchenbahn.at AG der Wiener Lokalbahnen: Wien Oper – Baden Josefsplatz (515) An 800 V dc long-distance tramway, connected to the Wien tram system. www.wlb.at Zell am See – Krimml (230), Pinzgauerbahn, 760 mm gauge, operated by SLB. www.pinzgauerlokalbahn.at Zillertaler Verkehrsbetriebe AG: Jenbach – Mayrhofen (310) (760 mm gauge). www.zillertalbahn.at Tourist Lines:
Various private lines, listed above, and the Schneebergbahn line are wholly or largely tourist operations.
Achenseebahn AG: Jenbach Achenseebf – Achensee Schiffstation (311). Metre gauge, rack operated. Steam worked. Does not operate during the winter. www.achenseebahn.at Ampflwang – Timelkam www.oegeg.at Wälderbähnle (Bregenzerwaldbahn) (BWB): Bezau – Bersbuch (760 mm gauge) Eisenerz Schaubergwerk (900 mm gauge) www.abenteuer-erzberg.at Erzbergbahn: Vordernberg Markt – Eisenerz www.erzbergbahn.at Festritztalbahn: Weiz – Birkfeld (760 mm gauge) www.feistritztalbahn.at Flascherlzug: Stainz – Preding-Wieselsdorf (760 mm gauge) www.stainz.at/stainz/zug.htm Club Florianerbahn: St.Florian – Pichling See (900 mm gauge) (currently out of service) www.florianerbahn.at Gurkthalbahn: Treibach-Althofen – Pöckstein-Zwischenwässern (760 mm gauge) www.gurkthalbahn.at Höllentalbahn: Payerbach Ort – Hirschwang (760 mm gauge) www.lokalbahnen.at/hoellentalbahn Jochberg (Kitzbühl) Schaubergwerke Kupferplatte (600 mm gauge) Klagenfurt Museumstramway www.nostalgiebahn.at Lavamünder BahbetriebsgesmbH St.Paul – Lavamünd (trains can be chartered) www.nostalgiebahn.at/lavantblitz.php Museumstramway Mariazell-Erlaufsee: Mariazell – Erlaufsee Martinsberger Lokalbahn: Martinsberg-Gutenbrunn – Zwettl www.lokalbahnverein.at Reißeckbahn (Tauern Touristik GmbH): Schoberboden – Reißeck (not included in the Fahrpläne Österreich). 600mm gauge www.tauerntouristik.at/en/reisseck/index.php Rosenthaler Dampfbummelzüge: Weizelsdorf – Ferlach www.nostalgiebahn.at St Wolfgang Schafbergbahn – Schafbergspitze (173), metre gauge, rack operated, steam and diesel, is now trading as Salzkammergutbahn GmbH , under the Salzburg AG umbrella. www.schafbergbahn.at Steyrtalbahn: Grünburg – Steyr Lokalbf (760 mm gauge) www.steyrtalbahn.at Taurachbahn: Mautendorf – St Andrä (760 mm gauge) www.club760.at Waldviertler Schmalspurbahn: Altnagelberg – Heidenreichstein (760 mm gauge) www.erlebnisbahn.at/wsv or www.waldviertlerbahn.at Ybbsthalbahn Bergstrecke: Kienberg-Gaming – Lunz am See (760 mm gauge) www.lokalbahnen.at/bergstrecke ÖBB has a unit called ÖBB Erlebnisbahn (ÖBB Experience Railway). See www.erlebnis-bahn-schiff.at for more information. From December 2009 there are no EZ (Erlebniszüge – excursion trains) in the public timetable, and there are no longer any passenger trains between Emmersdorf a d D – Sarningstein and Retz – Drosendorf. Weissenbach-Neuhaus – Hainfeld had disappeared earlier.The operation of the two remaining lines is now in cooperation with the local preservation society (see Waldwirtler Schmalspurbahn above)
801 Gmünd NÖ – Gross Gerungs (760 mm gauge) 802 Gmünd NÖ – Litschau (760 mm gauge) Metro: Wien has a third rail U-Bahn (much of which is above ground) and several sections of overhead-electrified U-Bahn tramway with metro characteristics.
Trams: Gmunden www.stern-verkehr.at, Graz www.gstw.at, Innsbruck www.ivb.at, Linz www.linzag.at, Wien www.wienerlinen.at (which extends via the Wiener Lokalbahnen into Baden). The Wien system is the largest European network outside Russia.
Recent and future changes:
In addition to the removal of the passenger service on the Erlebniszug only lines (see above), the entire Ybbstal system except Waidhofen – Gstadt is closed after floodings and is not expected to reopen.
The StH line (Lambach -) Neukirchen – Haag has also lost its passenger service from 13 December 2009. It has been said that there is no financially viable way to connect this line when the Westbahn is upgraded Linz – Salzburg.
The major programme of realigning and rebuilding main lines continues, particularly between Wien Westbf and Salzburg. The latest addition is the Enns avoiding line (Linz Ebelsberg – St Valentin). Eventually, there will be an entirely new line between Hadersdorf and Linz, partly along the existing alignment but with an entirely new route east of Loosdorf. Most of the old line will remain for local traffic. The Lainzer Tunnel, currently under construction with planned completion in 2013, will provide a new connection between the Westbahn (at Hadersdorf) and Wien-Meidling. There will also be a spur onto the line to Kledering via Oberlaa.
The new entrance to St Pölten from the east (Knoten Wagram) was completed in August 2005. This includes preparation for the tracks from the New Westbahn (Wienerwald Tunnel – Tullnerfeld) when it is completed.
Electrification between Mistelbach and Laa an der Thaya was completed for use in December 2006. Graz Don Bosco station opened 7 September 2007.
The line between Tulln and St Pölten has been realigned. It is now on the north side of the high speed Westbahn (under construction) and connects to the future Tullnerfeld station while Michelhausen and Judenau have been closed. A 1.8 km west to north chord is under construction at Tulln (Tullner Westschleife), and a 0.9 km south to east chord (Stetteldorfer Schleife) is planned at Absdorf-Hippersdorf.
Extension of Salzburg – Freilassing from two to three tracks is under construction with a 2010 target for completion.
A new double track, mainly in tunnel, is under construction Kundl/Radfeld (west of Wörgl) – Jenbach – Baumkirchen (east of Hall in Tirol) to connect where trains can be routed towards Innsbruck Hbf as well as through the Innsbruck avoiding line. Planned completion is December 2012.
The new line Wien (Weidlingau) – Tullnerfeld – St Pölten is under construction with a planned completion in 2012. The break-through in the Wienerwald tunnel occurred on 3 September 2007.
Work started in 2007 to build a new Wien Hauptbahnhof where Südbahnhof was until 12 December 2009. The station is now closed. Track 1-9 (Bruck a d L and Stadlau and beyond) now have a temporary station Wien Südbf (Ost) 150 m to the South. Track 11-19 (Wiener Neustadt and beyond) are replaced by Wien Meidling. The S-bahn platforms (21 and 22) in the basement now have temporary entrances outside the construction area. A limited service is planned to start in December 2012. All long-distance trains from Westbahn will, when all construction is comlete, use the Lainzer tunnel and Hauptbahnhof instead of Westbahnhof. A new motive power and carriage depot has been built on what has been freight yard and sidings at Matzleinsdorfer Platz between Wien Süd and Meidling. For more information see this page which contains several links: www.hauptbahnhof-wien.at. Passenger information in German: www.hauptbahnhof-wien.at/de/Presse/Publikationen/Folder/HBFW_Fahrgastbroschuere.pdf. General information in English : www.hauptbahnhof-wien.at/de/Presse/Publikationen/Folder/VIENNA_CENTRAL_STATION_Imagefolder_engl.pdf.
Work has started on the Koralmbahn Klagenfurt – Graz , with the 32 km Koralmtunnel as it centrepiece. Graz – Deutschland and Klagenfurt Wolfsberg are planned for completion 2010, and the entire line 2016. However it will be single track when opened. There is more information at de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koralmbahn (but be careful – Wikipedia information may always be biased). It is planned also to build partial double tracks on the Steirische Ostbahn (Graz – Gleisdorf – Szentgottard (Hungary), but the information on this is very sparse. de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steirische_Ostbahn indicates a south to east Graz avoiding line (otherwise all trains Koralmbahn – Szentgottard would have to run round in Graz) and a possible completion in 2020. But without these measures to the Steirische Ostbahn, the investment in Koralmbahn would be of much less value – it would not be practical to route more freight through Hungary, where there are considerably less gradients than the Semmering route.
For more information and links on these and other projects, see (in German) www.oebb.at/vip8/bau/de/Projekte_Planung_und_Bau/index.jsp.
Other new lines opened recently are:
Innsbruck avoiding line, linking the Brenner and Wörgl lines (this is used only by freight trains) Tunnel for fast trains between Leoben Hbf and St Michael Diversion of the Tauernbahn, mostly in tunnels, between Lindisch and Mallnitz The double track Schlierbach Umfahrung (bypass) on the Linz – Selztal line Double tracking of Kolbnitz – Pusarnitz on the Tauernbahn
Double tracking Meidling – Inzersdorf
Preliminary work on a Semmering base tunnel has resumed and the principal route decided.
ÖBB is withdrawing freight services from many lines, including the entire narrow-gauge network. It has also stated that in order to cope with reduced subsidies, many passenger services will also have to be withdrawn. Campaigning groups have listed almost every non-electrified line as under threat.
The following routes have appeared on various recent closure threat lists so must be at risk; those marked # are already mostly served by buses. In many cases private operation is being sought to avoid closure.
115: St. Pölten – Ober Grafendorf – Mariazell 115: Ober Grafendorf – Mank 132: Waidhofen an der Ybbs – Gstadt 152: # Haiding – Aschach a d Donau 170: Bad Aussee – Stainach-Irdning 172: # Vöcklabruck – Kammer-Schörfling 410: (Garmisch-Partenkirchen) Ehrwald Zugspitzbahn – Schönbichl (Pfronten-Steinach) 620: # Zeltweg – Bad St. Leonhard, apparently closing on 31 July 2010 650: Villach – Feldkirchen – St Veit a d Glan 670: Arnoldstein – Kötschach-Mauthen 680: Klagenfurt – Rosenbach 811: Spitz a. d. Donau - Emmersdorf a. d. Donau, possibly closing on 12 December 2010 830: Schwarzenau - Zwettl, possibly closing on 12 December 2010 831: Schwarzenau - Waidhofen a. d. Thaya, possibly closing on 12 December 2010 The Oberwart branch (520) is (2010) still operated by ÖBB. A plan to extend the trains from Oberwart to Grosspetersdorf in co-operation with SRB has not materialised.
Salzburger Lokalbahn has taken over the operation of the Zell am See – Krimml line on 1 July 2008, but nothing seems to have happened yet regarding other private operators, supported by local councils, acquiring the narrow-gauge system at St Pölten and the stub which remains at Waidhofen a d Ybbs.
The Schneebergbahn, ÖBB's mountain rack railway, has been transferred to a company in which ÖBB and the local Province have an equal shareholding. ÖBB, in effect, continues to run the line, though it comes outside the standard fare system, and the operating loss is shared with the Provincial councils.
The Schafbergbahn was transferred to Salzburg AG in April 2006, see above
The light rail line to Igls, operated as an extension of the Innsbruck tram system, has been threatened with closure, but still continues to operate in 2007.
Corridor Trains (Korridorzüge)
There are three routes outside Austria which are used by domestic ÖBB services running between one part of the country and another. In some cases, stops for international traffic are made. Domestic Austrian tickets are valid on these trains, but break of journey is not permitted. Routes used by these trains are:
Salzburg – Kufstein via Rosenheim avoiding line (Germany) [ÖBB table 300]: used by many trains between Salzburg and Innsbruck, none of which is scheduled to call in Germany. These are the only passenger trains to use the Rosenheim avoiding line.
Brennersee – Weitlanbrunn via Fortezza (Italy) [ÖBB tables 300 and 223]: used by a limited through service between Innsbruck and Lienz. Most workings require a change of trains at San Candido and Fortezza: through ÖBB tickets are not valid on these services.
Loipersbach Schattendorf and Baumgarten – Deutschkreutz via Sopron (Hungary) [ÖBB tables 512 and 524]: used by trains from Wiener Neustadt and Wulkerprodersdorf to Deutschkreutz. In some cases, Korridorzüge passengers require to change trains at Sopron, remaining in transit on the "International" platform.
ÖBB promotes a large number of rail excursions, some of which use freight only lines or visit places of railway interest. A brochure "Erlebnis Bahn & Schiff" is published annually and can be obtained at stations or from Verein Erlebnis Bahn & Schiff, Bahngasse 2, A-2721 Bad Fischau-Brunn, Austria, or from Austria Tourist Offices abroad. Excursions can be booked at principal ÖBB stations or through ÖBB Bahn-Totalservice, Wien Westbahnhof. Phone 01-5800-1700. Details can also be found at www.erlebnis-bahn-schiff.at which includes an e-mail booking facility.
Explanations in English of Austrian (and German) railway signalling can be found at mysite.du.edu/~jcalvert/railway/germaust.htm.
Maps: In addition to M.G. Ball's "European Railway Atlas", there is the very good “Eisenbahnatlas Österreich” (ISBN 3-89494-128-6) published by Verlag Schweers + Wall GmbH (website www.schweers-wall.de in German only), similar to atlases from the same publisher for Germany and Switzerland.